Speed Queen top load washer - which model?

maries1120July 8, 2013

I have decided on a Speed Queen top load washer but need to decide on which model -412, 432, or 542. Which model did you get and why? It doesn't seem like a lot of difference between them from the website. I was thinking the 432 but for $50 more is the 542 worth it or for $50 less than the 432 is the 412 about the same? Prices I have are 739, 789 or 839.

Getting the 3LR dryer so one decision made.


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Hi. I purchased the AWN432 for the extra rinse feature. If I had spent the extra $50 or so I could have got the 542,which would have been nice with the speed flexibility, but we are a 2 person household , so didn't really need it.
I believe whatever model you choose you will be very satisfied. Personally I feel this is the best washer I have used in over 25 years.Well made with an excellent suspension system and clean soft laundry. The excellent warranty gives me piece of mind also.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 7:50PM
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We eliminated the AWN412 immediately because it lacked the extra rinse selector switch. The AWN432 and AWN542 were only about $50 apart and the 542 offered a "Fabric Selector" control that offered a few more choices for agitation and spin speeds beyond the ones offered by the primary cycle control.

We chose the AWN542 to get the extra flexibility only because it was such a small bump up in price. We hardly use the extra agitation and spin controls, so we could live without it just fine.

I think you'll be happy with any of them, but the extra rinse option is worth the $50. If these machines perform as expected, the extra $50 will be amortized over 20 years.

The most important items, like build quality, mechanical reed switches, all-metal transmissions, tap hot water fill, and excellent load balancing, appear the be the same across the whole line.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 8:31PM
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Thanks. I am leaning toward the 542 otherwise the 432. The 542 would need to be ordered from the one place I called but I have another store to check with. DH is on a business trip right now and gone for a couple of weeks so I can't do anything right away. We have an old Maytag washer and Whirlpool dryer. Both are working OK but not sure how old they are. They came with the house when we moved in 8 years ago and looked like older models then. I'm guessing they are from the 70s. We just wanted to replace them before one died and we had to make an urgent purchase where we were limited in options.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 8:05AM
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An advantage of the TOL model is the slow /fast speed. J'd probably Use that setting a lot for darks that I want to be washed extra gently yet spun fast. Mechanically, they're all identical.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 9:03AM
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Guess I am the outlier here. I got the 412. My old machine (a Hotpoint) had the extra rinse setting, but I seldom used it.

With the 412 you can always set the extra rinse manually if you need it. So far, I haven't. The 412 rinses better than my old machine. I use white vinegar instead of fabric softener, which probably helps.

I am VERY happy with my Speed Queen and hope you will be just as pleased with whatever model you select. They are built like tanks. Can't understand why Consumer Reports turn up their noses at SQ. Over the long run a SQ is a great value due to their reliability.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 3:18PM
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I chose the 542 with matching gas dryer 4gbr,think that's the model. I chose them for the fabric selectors. The difference in price compared to the life expectancy was nominal. Sure you may not use all of the features much, but I would rather have the option available for those times I do need them.. You will love your machines, I do.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 4:13PM
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A while back I saw a post about Speed Queen needing to cut the amount of water used in fills to meet government regs. I also read that there is a small lever on the back inside of the control panel that adjusts the fill volume. If I got a Speed Queen (not too soon I hope) I would want to know how to do that. Does anyone recall the instructions? This time I will print them out and save for future reference. I'm with the poster that told of how ridiculous it is for the govt. to limit water for dishwasher and washing machines while allowing unlimited water for lawns and gardens. No home in my neighborhood uses more wash water than irrigation water.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 8:36PM
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Speed Queen washers and dryers are probably the closest we will get to the old dependable Maytags in this day and age.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 9:19PM
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I find the build of the 4GBR dryer especially sturdy. Much more so than the 26 year old whirlpool it replaced. The panels seem to have a solid tight assembly. Doesn't get as hot as the old dryer either; or I could be imagining it. Haven't had any wrinkling problems. Just good old fashioned laundry machines doing what they were designed to do without all the song and dance.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 10:00PM
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The video on how to change the fill ob Speed Qeens is called

Speed Queen Clothes Washer Water Level Problem And How To Fix It

Just look it up on YouTube.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 10:52PM
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I called another appliance store and it is only a $35 difference for the 542 washer. I am waiting to find out the difference in the dryer prices.

I googled our current dryer model number and only found one time reference and that was from 1976. So even if they bought it a few years after that, the dryer is getting up there in years. It is still working but started to make an odd noise.

I don't think our current washer (Maytag) is that old - maybe the 90s. We moved into the house in 2005. Maybe it still has a lot of years left. It's hard to know whether to hang on to the end or bail while it is still working.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:52AM
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Decision is made to go with the SQ 542 washer and 4GBR dryer. I don't know if DH will want me to wait to order until he gets back from his business trip. I found the serial # to date the dryer and it could have been built in 1975. I found a receipt for a belt that was replaced in 1983. I know the washer isn't that old but at least 15 years old.

Thanks for all your help with this!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 4:05PM
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Congrats. Hope your new SQ delivers years of superb service.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 7:52AM
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